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Sword Beam

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"You hold in your hand
A sword that shoots laser beams."

Swords are awesome. For a hero worth their salt, they are practically a requirement. But there's one tiny little flaw: a complete lack of range. Now, how would your One-Man Army hero be able to routinely face and prevail over entire groups of enemies packing (cross) bows, firearms or ranged magic? Well, there are many ways around depending on your setting, but there's hardly anything that is a more distilled Rule of Cool than Sword Beams.

A character will make a slashing motion with their Cool Sword, but at a distance, optionally charging the weapon with power right before this. What springs forth is a beam of Pure Energy, usually crescent-shaped. It travels through the air or on the ground, either keeping the original size and shape or covering a full sector of the swing, thus growing larger with distance. Often features Absurd Cutting Power, allowing The Hero to fell entire companies of Mooks in one fell swoop. Arbitrary Maximum Range prevents it from cutting anything outside of the intended battlefield.


Another version is stabbing or smashing the blade into the ground and creating a Ground Wave that may or may not actually tear through the earth as it crashes towards the enemy. Sword Beams fired by thrusting a sword at its target (or even just pointing the sword in their direction and using it as a Magic Wand) are rarer, but they do exist.

When magical this is a type of Full-Contact Magic, and when not it falls under Implausible Fencing Powers. If the "beam" is a shockwave of compressed air which cuts things, then it's also a Razor Wind. If used with a Laser Blade, it often looks more like the blade is extending to strike the target.

See also Bayonet Ya (for guns with what are basically swords attached) and Mix-and-Match Weapon (for swords that are also guns), and Throwing Your Sword Always Works (for another, less magical way of using a sword as a ranged weapon). Compare Energy Bow (for bows that shoot beams) and Boom Stick (for the Magic Staff, which is usually a magical tool first, and a weapon second). Can be combined with Blade Spam for a unique variant of Beam Spam.


Not to be confused with a Beam Sword or with Beams Shaped Like Swords (though a sword made of beams that shoots beams made of swords would be pretty awesome).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Inuyasha:
    • Inuyasha's BFS has a number of ranged attacks, two of which (Wind Scar and Backlash Wave) clearly are instances of this trope.
    • Sesshomaru took the head of a youki to forge the sword Tokijin, which has a Sword Beam Attack. His reforged Tenseiga shoots a beam which is actually a portal to Hell which sucks the enemy in.
  • Bleach:
    • Ichigo's Getsuga Tenshō, a crescent-shaped blast of energy which causes anything struck by it to be cut in half, disintegrate or explode, depending on how concentrated it is. His Bankai takes this Up to Eleven in that it allows him to control the path and shape of the blast for better versatility. He also figures out other ways to use it like keeping the Getsuga Tenshō energy around his blade to enhance its cutting power, or cutting into an enemy and then firing a Getsuga Tenshō from inside their body, both of which take away the ability to dodge. And after reforging Zangetsu into its true form, which consists of two separate swords that he dual-wields, Ichigo can fire a sword beam out of each of them to form the cross-shaped Getsuga Jūjishō.
    • Kenpachi and Urahara can do similar moves as well. Urahara's "Nake, Benihime" fires a beam of blood, while Kenpachi doesn't name his attacks and just forces his spirit energy into a wave-like blast.
    • Hitsugaya can do an ice version of this.
    • Now we also have Ichigo's father also showing off his own Getsuga Tenshō, and teaching his son how to perform an advanced version of it.
    • Ukitake's shikai produces this sort of effect (-ish?) when it redirects multiple Ceros. The downside is that somebody else has to fire a beam at him before he can fire it back. The upside is that his redirection of energy attacks makes them much faster and thus harder to block or dodge.
    • Harribel has three separate sword beams, one being her fanned-out Cero, one being her Ola Azul attack (Which is yellow. It actually makes a bit of sense), and one called La Gota, which is an upgraded version of Ola Azul.
  • Hong Chunhwa's Narumada in Tower of God has this ability when "ignited", as well as Hatz's Sword That Flies Lower Than Any.
  • In the second season of Slayers, Gourry's Sword of Light gains this ability. At one point it is used to blow up a ship.
  • In Medabots, the Medaforce takes this form when used by Rokusho, as does Sumilidon's Extreme Shadow Sword. In the RPG, a sword wave is the general form of Medaforces for Kuwagata types.
  • The "Celestial Slash"/"Vacuum Buddha-giri" from Shaman King qualifies, though it is depicted inconsistently as either a Razor Wind or Pure Energy.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! has the Shinmei Ryū Hidden Technique, Zanmaken: Ni no Tachi "In Celebration of my First Kiss with Ojou-sama Special" (spoilered part of name courtesy of Jack Rakan, natch). When Rakan demonstrated it, the crescent-shaped energy projectile it produced bypassed all of Negi's Deflector Shields and damaged the building behind him before finally slicing a giant floating rock some distance away behind that in half.
    • The attack originally comes from Love Hina, where it was used by Motoko and its development was the focus of an arc for her. The Shinmei Ryū school has a large number of ranged attack techniques, some of which have the ability to "skip" the first thing in its path and strike a target behind it.
  • In the Ninja Scroll TV series, Jubei seems to be capable of this and only this attack.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple has shown examples of the Razor Wind off a sword stroke version. Shigure fought someone with that technique, and has done ranged attacks not only with a sword but with a wooden spoon.
  • Shannon does this in Scrapped Princess when he's using Zefiris. An interesting variation, in that the beam extends from both ends of his sword.
  • The Samurai Champloo episode "Lethal Lunacy" features an outlaw named Shoryū who has mastered the ability to attack using ki. One of the ways he does this is through a blast of wind unleashed from his sword. Unlike other sword beams, the damage done does not reflect how the wind blast struck the target; rather, it causes what appear to be completely unrelated injuries, like slashes across the palms or devastating internal damage without any exterior signs of harm.
  • Buso Renkin: Rather than shooting energy beams, the katana buso renkin "Sword Samurai X" has the ability to absorb and nullify enemy energy attacks. The writer, Nobuhiro Watsuki, dislikes swords that fire energy attacks, believing that they defeated the very purpose of a sword, so he gave the weapon the ability to nullify such attacks instead.
  • Miaka throws out one of these in Fushigi Yuugi to fire Soi's lightning attack back at her. Justified because the sword she's using is a holy sword given to Hotohori by Taiitsukun.
  • Yaiba makes a frequent use of Sword Beam, be them Lightning, Air or Dark Powers.
  • Thymilph in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has a variation: his Alkaid Glaive fires the beam, and he calls it the Condemn Blaze. (Although it can kind of hard to tell what he's shouting.)
  • In Samurai Pizza Cats Speedy Cerviche's Cat's Eye Slash is a two-sword variant.
  • In Naruto, the Samurai of the Land of Iron are all capable of doing this, once they've channeled chakra through their swords like Laser Blades.
  • In Soul Eater, Maka's Straight Hunter used against the Clown works like this. She achieved something similar by mistake when she used Witch Hunter against Sid, and tripped up. Ragnarok's Screech Alpha attack also creates a Sword Beam.
  • Snimon of Digimon demonstrates this ability when it launches its Twin Sickles technique.
  • Tatewake Kunō in Ranma ½ is capable of projecting strikes of compressed air from his blade as he thrusts, which are capable of crumbling concrete.
  • Sailor Moon! Sailor Uranus's second attack, Space Sword Blaster, sends blades of energy using her talisman weapon.
  • In Tokkô Ranmaru can fire powerful energy blasts from his sword. Sakura was also able to do this in the manga.
  • The "Reppuzan" attack used by Mio and Yoshika in Strike Witches is an example of this, being a beam of magical energy fired through the sky to attack ranged enemies. It's name roughly translates to "Great Gale Cut", meaning that it may be wind-based. Interestingly enough, it has several similarities to the Getsuga Tensho of Bleach: It has a sky/wind/heavens theme, the attack is used by a main character and a mentor/parental figure, and the True Reppuzan/Final Getsuga Tensho causes the user to lose their powers (both users, incidentally, having huge amount of spiritual/magical power that was difficult to control).
  • In Fairy Tail Erza's Morning Star Armor's special attack Photon Slicer.
  • Linebarrels of Iron: Linebarrel's "Executor", who function as both BFS and BFG.
  • Kamika from Corpse Princess can fire explosive blasts of energy from her dual katanas.
  • Ryuuji from Dragon Crisis! uses these as his primary means of attack. Technically an example of 'Knife Beams'.
  • One Piece contains many characters who are capabable of shooting sword beams, most of whom are formidable swordfighters.
    • Zoro and Mihawk are both capable of doing this, both of whom can generate sword beams of monstrous proportions, easily able to cut through entire mountains.
    • It's also a standard attack for members of CP9, except they're able to do it just by kicking their legs, no swords needed.
  • Fate/stay night Saber's Excalibur can be used to unleash an enormous beam of energy capable of annihilating anything in its path. It is used during Fate/Zero to literally punch out Cthulhu. Naturally, this ability takes an immense amount of energy to use and she can't spam it, especially when she's getting mana from Shirou. Gilgamesh's own sword (the only one he actually wields, that is), Ea, is pretty much the same thing turned Up to Eleven. It's the only Noble Phantasm to be classified as "Anti-World", which means Gil can pretty much never unleash its full power for fear of an Earth-Shattering Kaboom, not that he needs to. Even on its weakest setting, it can match the aforementioned sword with ease.
  • Toriko is a strange example as instead of using a sword, he uses his hands, but they still work the same as this trope. Also they are not so much "beams" as they are "forks and knives".
  • In Magic Knight Rayearth, Lafarga uses the Razor Wind type—he's a Badass Normal, but he's just that strong. The second season of the anime also has Hikaru use these after she resurrects her broken sword.
  • Cutey Honey had this power in the '70s series, though she used it sparingly.
  • In World Conquest Zvezda Plot, members of the organization White Light wield Laser Blades which are capable of firing energy blasts. This includes both straight bolts from the tip of the sword, and crescent arcs when the sword is swung.
  • Various blade-wielding monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX use these in various ways.
  • Black Clover:
    • Asta's Anti-Magic swords can do this once he masters the properties of the weapons to unleash flying beams that cancel out enemies' spells.
    • Yami uses his Dark Magic with his katana to shoot beams made of darkness as massive crescent waves. His spell Dark Cloaked Dimension Slash unleashes a vertical slash with great range and cutting power, even moreso when combined with Mana Zone.
    • Licht's Sword Magic revolves around this, unleashing giant slashes of mana from his sword swings.

    Comic Books 
  • The Swordsman, an old trainer of Hawkeye and enemy/member of The Avengers, had a high tech sword made for him by the Mandarin using Makluan technology. It can shoot several kinds of energy beams as well as a flame blast.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In this case, it's energy bolts from Wakandan spears in Black Panther
  • Surtur in Thor: Ragnarok can shoot streams of fire from the tip of his sword.

  • Lone Wolf:
    • That's how the Sommerswerd blasts any Darklord if it receives a direct ray of sunlight and there is a Darklord target within range. Or just from the energy accumulated by not using it for most of Book 12 until the end.
    • Skarn-Ska ("Wolf's Blade") in The Curse of Naar can also deliver an energy bolt to soften some enemies.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Naturally, Super Sentai and Power Rangers have featured every version of this. The most common Finishing Move, though, is an unusual version: the wielder, facing the screen, swings, and a diagonal line appears as it passes. Scene switches to the monster, slash effect appears over him, and KABOOM soon follows — regardless of how far away from the wielder the real-space shots show the monster to be. What it would look like to someone watching from nearby is a good question, like many of the show's Stock Footage sequences that just don't work in real space. Though arc effects, through-ground effects, and all the rest exist, you won't see a finisher that looks like this in Stock Footage get done in real space and prove to be one of these. Power Rangers RPM is one of few series to show what its sword-slash finisher "really" looks like, with the High Octane Megazord striking the monster as it passes by.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Blade has the Royal Straight Flush in his King Form Super Mode. During the series it's depicted as a giant blast of energy after a sword swing, going through five cards, but Kamen Rider Decade depicts it as a wave of energy that goes through the ground.
    • Decade gives Sword Waves to several past Riders, mostly because Decade's Complete Form performs its Finishing Moves in tandem with artificial copies of the Riders in their own Super Modes, and sometimes their finishers aren't suited to Combination Attacks. Besides Blade King Form, Agito Shining Form and Ryuki Survive have them, as do Armed Hibiki and Den-O Liner Form in the Hyper Battle DVD.
    • Kamen Rider OOO has a variation where his OOO Bash finisher is both this and a Diagonal Cut, releasing a wave of energy that seems to cut through reality itself...only for everything except the Monster of the Week to slowly slide back into place, at which point the monster goes boom.
    • Kamen Rider Fourze Cosmic States' Finishing Move, "Rider Super Galaxy Finish": Fourze changes the Barizun Sword to Boost Mode and tackles the Zodiarts through a portal that leads out of Earth's atmosphere. Fourze then changes the sword back to Slash Mode and attacks with a humongous beam.
    • Kamen Rider Gaim has more than its fair share due to its large cast. An unusual example is Gaim's Daidai Ittou attack, where he launches Sword Beams that trap his enemy in an orange-shaped sphere of energy, then dashes in and slices them in half, causing the "orange" to explode into slices.
  • In Saban's Masked Rider, an adaptation of the Japanese Kamen Rider BLACK RX, the title character had this as his finisher. In fact, this was the only thing his sword was ever seen doing. This is a result of Bowdlerization, as the title character of Black RX finished his opponents by stabbing them rather violently. Naturally, the Moral Guardians did not approve, fearing children would imitate this, so they forced the showrunners to make the Masked Rider shoot his enemies to death...with a sword.
  • More than one Ultramen from the Ultra Series have this ability, including Gaia and Agul, Ultraman Max when equipped with the Galaxy Sword, Ultraman Mebius with his Brave Form's Blade Shoot and Blade Slash, Ultraman Victory in his Knight Form using his Knight Timbre, Ultraman Orb via Orb Calibur, and Ultraman Z using Beliarok's Deathcium Slash.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In Celtic Mythology, the sword Caladbolg shot rainbow-coloured streams of energy when swung. Just one of them cut three mountains in half.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Sandstorm-Wind Attack mode of the Exalted Charm Iron Raptor Technique is basically this, as is its follow-on Blazing Solar Bolt. Lunars have a version of this called Wind-Wings Carry Technique, although since Lunar charms by their nature have fairly broad effects, it increases the effective range of any weapon, melee or ranged.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition, Wizards can take the "Wizard of the Spiral Tower" paragon path, which allows the use of your sword as an implement, for things such as Magic Missile. (Thematically, the "implement" is where your spell originates.) This also includes the swordmage, that naturally uses the sword as its implement.
  • Mage: The Awakening has the Ranged Blow spell, which simply allows the caster to make ranged attacks with melee weapons by slightly distorting intervening space. The Brotherhood of the Demon Wind, a group of Magic Knight swordmasters, gain an equivalent ability that's innate and doesn't risk Paradox.
  • Warhammer's Prince Tyrion carries the runesword Sunfang, which can channel the fires of its forging into a blazing bolt of white-hot fire once per game. His brother Teclis's sword is supposed to be able to do the same with lightning bolts in the background (Teclis forged it himself, taking the intricate construction of Sunfang as his model), but it hasn't had this ability in the game for many editions.
  • Can be invoked, yet still downplayed, in Pathfinder with a cheesy fighter build that relies on the Warrior Spirit advanced weapon training option and the Energy Mastery feat, that lets the fighter enhance a weapon they choose at the beginning of the day with magic weapon properties and shoot cones of fire, cold, acid or electricity out of it.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • Bayonetta's sword beam is really Awesome, but Impractical as it takes like 10 seconds to shoot. Nobody ever waits around that long so it's pretty pointless anyway.
  • An Epic Flail version of this appears in Capcom game Black Tiger, the protagonist shoots a 3 way stream of daggers out of his various flails.
  • Crystalis has five swords, which can be charged by staying in place to launch a ranged attack, most of them are necessary to break through barriers. Some charged attacks (based on power and type) behave differently than a simple projectile, such as being an area-attack instead.
  • The Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi series has Yajirobe, who wields a katana. His 'Ka-Blam Slicer' attack sends an energy wave at the opponent. Oddly enough, Future Trunks' Absurdly Sharp Blade does not.
  • Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II: After his training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber with Vegeta, Future Trunks gains the ability to shoot crescent shaped energy waves with his sword.
  • Mega Man:
    • Mega Man X's Zero does this all the time with his Z-Saber, usually in a boss fight against him; can be taken Up to Eleven in X5 if you go the bad ending route, where, if you don't defeat him under around 2 minutes, he'll turn invincible and fire massive sword beams of One-Hit Kill. Playable Zero only gets it in the seventh game, called Hadangeki.
      • In X3, if you manage to get Zero's saber (through an intricate method), it'll modify X's Charged Attack: With his armor's arm part, by charging to the max, he can shoot a sword beam from the saber after shooting 2 blasts from his buster. The sword beam itself can kill bosses (including Sigma) in two hits. In X6, where X gains the saber from the start, 2 of his obtainable armors have sword beams as their Giga Attack: a simple, shot-forward large crescent beam with Blade Armor, and 2 encircling large crescent beams with Shadow Armor. The Magma Blade weapon (from Blaze Heatnix) also makes him swing a Flaming Sword that shoots a sword beam made of fire.
    • Colonel of the fourth game likes spamming these from his Laser Blade, and Double can also throw large ones from his Laser Blade Below the Shoulder after he Turns Red. Slash Beast launches his Twin Slasher from his feet claws, and Grizzly Slash throws his Crescent Shots with his large red claw. Sigma in X8 has a variant where he smashes the ground with his BFS, causing a short-ranged wave of energy.
    • The Zero in Mega Man Zero does this as well, in an EX skill for the second, third, and fourth (final) games. As does Harpuia in that game, excessively. The bosses Zero gets sword beams from - Childre Inarabitta and Fenri Lunaedge - also can do this, with their ears and arm-blades respectively.
    • Proto Man's Mega Man Battle Network incarnation doesn't quite shoot beams from his sword, but he does fire shockwaves from swinging his sword. In BN6, Mega Man's Slash Cross form (i.e taking Slash Man's power) lets him charge any sword-based Battle Chips to launch sword beams of different sizes and ranges.
    • Model HX from Mega Man ZX, based on the aforementioned Harpuia, can do this if you alternate between the two attack buttons.
    • It's possible to upgrade the range of the Blade Arm in Mega Man Legends to emit beams with every slash
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In the first The Legend of Zelda, if your life meter is filled to maximum capacity, you can fire these at distant enemies. This is notable because the beam, unlike many later Zelda titles, carries the same power level as the blade itself, and they hit everything the sword hits as well (later games have enemies that are immune to the sword beam). Needless to say, getting the Magical Sword as early as possible is a major boon; even the White Sword is an improvement.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: The Master Sword and its upgraded forms send forth a spinning energy blast when Link has full hearts.
    • In other games, Link can also fire beams from his sword. Usually, this can only be done at full health, though The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (and the The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games with the right Ring) also features a "Peril Beam" which can only be used at low health.
    • The Skyward Strike from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, the first 3D Zelda game to have this as a regular ability, can be used at any amount of health, though the sword has to be raised to the sky to charge up for use, leaving Link vulnerable to possible injury. The beam can be shot off vertically, horizontally, diagonally, and as a tiny bullet using a thrust, or used to power up the Spin Attack, extending its range.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass allows you to do this when you equip the upgraded Spirit of Courage.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time had the sword spin move which, when combined with magic, gave off a circle of energy that expanded beyond the range of the sword and damaged enemies. Not the classic Zelda sword beam, but still...
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has the Fierce Deity's Mask, a boss-only item that gives you the most powerful sword in the game that shoots sword beams that attack from all sides. All it costs is a little magic, which, for 200 rupees, you can have an unlimited supply of for the remaining 2 1/2 days of a given cycle.
    • Tri Force Heroes requires you to wear special outfits on top of having full health to use sword beams, with the Infinity +1 Sword outfit's special ability being to shoot four sword beams at the same time whenever you do a spin slash, regardless of health.
    • Breath of the Wild, in one of many nods to the original game, reintroduces the sword beam as a basic ability that can only be used at full health, but is limited to the Master Sword, and uses the game's throwing mechanic to activate.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the first game in the Smash Bros franchise to reference Link's history with sword beams and allows the Breath Of the Wild incarnation of Link to shoot a sword beam when he does his forward smash attack at 0% damage (or full stamina).
  • Kirby
    • Kirby, as seen in the page picture, can fire beams from his sword when he becomes Sword Kirby (In the games it only works while he's at full health, in homage to the Zelda example). Final Cutter a move that can be used by Sword or Cutter Kirby depending on the game is a blade combo ending in one of these and appears as Kirby's Up B special in the Super Smash Bros. games. In Kirby: Triple Deluxe and most future games in the series, Sword Kirby can also use Sky Energy Sword, which involves lifting the sword up to charge it and then unleashing a Sword Beam like in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Master/Galaxia Kirby can use a charged version of the move (that closely resembles the anime depiction of the move) in Kirby & the Amazing Mirror.
    • Meta Knight is strongly associated with this ability and has had these in most of his appearances both as a playable character and as a boss. It's his Signature Move in the anime and he's the one who teaches Kirby how to use it. Meta Knight (and later, other people such as Tuff) actually refers to it as "Sword Beam".
    • King Dedede in the gamemode "Dededetour!" can fire off a "hammer wave" when at full health in a similar fashion. He can also fire an arrow-like beam that he can aim; these can cut ropes like an arrow would.
  • Hype's sword in Hype: The Time Quest produces some kind of medium-ranged razor beam when swung, which deals as much damage to the enemies as a hit from the blade itself.
  • The first Custom Robo released in North America has a partial example. It has two sword-shaped guns that in turn fire sword-shaped lasers at the target with different trajectories. The swords cannot typically be used as melee weapons, though; some Robo models swing the sword while using melee attacks, but the effect is purely cosmetic.
  • Demon Fang in the Tales Series.
    • In addition to the old standard (Majinken), there's Kyle, Yuri and Ludger's Azure Edge, the recurring Fierce Demon Fang, Ange's Kouhajin, Shing's Solar Flare and Solar Parabola... suffice it to say, most melee attackers in the Tales of games are required to have at least one somewhere. That's to say nothing of the advanced versions like Reid's Double Demon Fang, Lloyd's Demonic Circle and Kunzite's Demonic Chaos. Variations include Senel and Luke's hand-thrown Demon Fist, Estelle's "Star Stroke", and Repede's "Demonic Charge". Yuri also has Final Gale, which is two Sword Beams combined into a bigger blast. Guy's second Mystic Arte "Brilliant Overlord" turns this into an art form with several sword beams being thrown and converging into a huge energy explosion. For an axe-based variant, Barbatos Goetia has "Genocide Braver", a huge fire beam blasted out of the tip of his axe, and "Hell Heat" where his axe shoots an entire stream of fireballs.
  • Touhou: Resident swords(wo)man Youmu Kompaku uses her sword for both melee and ranged attacks. Of course, this being Touhou, her ranged attacks take the form of scores of spirit bullets.
    • The fighting games play it straight with both Youmu, Miko and Tenshi. Particularly egregious in Miko's case.
  • In Armored Core, it's possible to launch the energy off an energy blade, although you need either a special sword or Human+ (or that particular game's equivalent) to do it.
    • Removed as of Armored Core 4, however.
    • Done with the Human+ and the Moonlight blade in Armored Core 2, you end up with a sort of Infinity Plus One Sword Beam.
    • In some games, like Armored Core: Nexus, it's possible to do a Sword Beam with every Laser Blade. You just have to boost mid-swing.
  • Just about every Virtuaroid in the Virtual-ON series has at least one of these for their melee weapon, unless they have enough guns/missiles to make them redundant.
  • Kratos in God of War II does this with the Blade of Olympus on the last strike of his heavy combo. Furthermore, fully upgrading the Blade allows it to be done with every swipe!
  • Star Trek Online of all places has this, as one of the melee weapons players can acquire is a sword that when in use will absorb incoming fire from energy weapons, and can then fire it back at the enemy.
  • Vyse and Enrique use these if they attack an enemy at a distance in Skies of Arcadia. Enrique, using a foil, naturally does a thrusting motion to release a spear-like shot.
  • Kamui of Arcana Heart can do this, performing two quick slashes in the air to create an X-shaped energy projectile.
  • Ky and Sol from Guilty Gear. Ky swings his sword, while Sol stabs the ground.
  • Ryoma from Power Stone has a couple variants of this after powering up.
  • Several characters from Dynasty Warriors are capable of firing beams out of their bladed weapons.
  • Similar but unrelated to the above, Sengoku Basara has a few characters who use blades to fire energy beams, including Yoshihiro Shimazu and Masamune Date.
  • The Hook game for Sega Genesis had a power up that allowed you to do this.
  • PC game Sango Fighter did this for about half of the characters. Almost all of the characters got a fireball and half of them were armed, so in some ways, it kind of makes sense.
  • Both Square Soft's Chrono Trigger and Enix's Star Ocean contain sword-swinging attacks that produce projectiles of hardened wind (Slash, Air Slash).
  • Shinobu's Signature Move in No More Heroes is a technique called "Sonic Sword", which becomes a Beam Spam after she Turns Red. Travis Touchdown himself gets Blueberry Cheese Brownie, one of his "Dark Side" Super Mode attacks. His sword beams make people explode.
  • Final Fantasy features this very often. Many characters have an extension attack that will often create a wave of energy to increase the sword range.
    • Cloud and Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII both feature an attack literally named Blade Beam that makes them fire off a wave from their sword. Cloud being a Blow Smasher will do this in a single giant ground based blast while Sephiroth will do so in smaller waves but in more accurate and greater quantities.
      • Cloud's "Blade Beam" attack not only does four times as much damage as a regular attack, but also dissipates after hitting the intended target, hitting every other enemy for regular damage. In addition, he also has Meteorain (or Meteor Shots, whichever you prefer) that literally throws meteors from his sword.
      • Sephiroth evidently follows the "hardened air" attack pattern, slashing so quickly with his Octaslash that it hits after he's finished slashing.
      • In Crisis Core, during the cutscene of Sephiroth's fight with Genesis, Sephiroth uses a flurry of Blade Beam attacks to neatly slice chunks off the Junon Cannon.
      • Zack Fair apparently taught Cloud the Meteorain/Meteor Shots skill, as he uses it in Crisis Core.
      • Though he himself only learns it AFTER meeting Cloud. Kinda weird when you think about it, and the other DMW Limits are actually taught TO Zack by someone else. So maybe Cloud taught Zack Meteor Shot?
    • Squall from Final Fantasy VIII pulls this off with shining colors. His Fated Circle, Blasting Zone and End of Heart Lion Heart techniques all have an expansion wave swing that increases your range to many times its original size. This is referenced in Dissidia, when, during his EX Mode, Squall's range increases significantly (the model of his blade becomes the much longer Lionheart, but the range is almost half again the length of THAT blade).
      • Blasting Zone is really more of a Blade Extension Beam...that's roughly several thousand feet long.
      • Seifer also does the same.
      • Squall also has a delayed sword beam attack: Rough Divide involves slashing upwards, followed by a massive upwards explosion from directly below the enemy it hits.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance features this with the Earth Render technique where it strikes everything in a straight line regardless of range.
      • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 features the Gria with an attack called blast wave which is an attack using a sword that hits things in a straight line. (much more limited than Earth Render)
    • In Final Fantasy XII, Gabranth uses an attack where he slashes the air rapidly to send out several energy waves from the blades.
    • In Final Fantasy XIV, the Gunbreaker tank job's ranged attack, "Lightning Shot", takes the form of a sword wave that is launched from an upward slash.
    • In Dissidia Final Fantasy, Squall, Cloud, Sephiroth and Gabranth return with their signature sword beams. Warrior of Light and the Onion Knight take it a step further with Radiant Sword and Swordshower. The latter has the Warrior swing his sword to create beams of light that look like swords, while Swordshower conjures a swarm of sword-shaped energy beams to hit the opponent from all angles. So yeah, not only do they use Sword Beams, but their Sword Beams look like swords.
  • Ragnell and Alondite, the twin BFS's from Fire Emblem 9 and 10, can do this.
    • There's also the Wind Edge, Storm Sword, and Tempest Blade as well. And Mist has a unique weapon that shoots Sword Beams.
    • And in the earlier games there's swords that cast magic as a form of a sword beam— just wave the sword and boom, you've got a spell like a mage would with a book. Notably, in FE 4, Mages could wield swords after promotion, and since the swords were not affected by silence, unlike normal spells, and were "El"-level (Except the Light Brand, which cast the basic light spell), they were good options if you wanted to get around silence.
    • FE 6 has the "King's Lance" Eckesachs — wielded by the not so Final Boss, a HUGE BFS that splits into a trident. Swinging it around launches one even if said Boss smashes your face with it.
    • The Sword Of Seals launches fire these at range, and causes huge explosions when it scores a Critical Hit.
    • Fire Emblem Fates has Xander's unique sword, Siegfried, which shoots beams of darkness for its ranged attack.
  • Dante has this in the form of his "Drive" attack in Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening and Devil May Cry 4, which causes a shockwave to jet across the ground and damage all enemies in its path. In 4, Nero has Maximum Bet, a Devil Trigger-exclusive move where he uses his sword(s) to fire off a wide X-shaped energy wave that also pierces through targets, but the crescent beam he uses is only seen during cutscenes. Vergil in 3 (and Dante in 4) has the Yamato, which can slash enemies far outside its normal range with a delayed effect. It does this for all of its moves, but Judgement Cut is the only one that's actually a projectile (to be precise, he does a quick draw slash and then a sphere of "slashes" appear in front of him).
  • In NES side-scroller The Battle of Olympus, you can do this while wielding the Divine Sword. Each beam costs HP, though, unless you have the Bracelet of Power.
  • Minazuki Zankuro's Finishing Move in Samurai Shodown V Special is a MASSIVE sword beam that completely obliterates the victim, save for their feet.
  • Pokémon has Psycho Cut and several other moves. Any "special" (non-physical) move coming from a bladed body part is an example. Keldeo's signature move Secret Sword is an example of this as well, and actually deals physical damage despite being a "special" attack.
  • There's this nice little semi-hidden treat on Shining Force for the Genesis: if you happen to finish off the final boss (bear in mind that it has three heads to be attacked separately) with a physical blow from main hero while having the legendary sword equipped, his usual attack animation is changed for a neat special animation involving a sword beam. This is the only moment in the game where the main character attacks this way. Also, hidden character Musashi's attack animation is a sword beam.
  • In Rocket Knight Adventures, Sparkster can fling energy beams from his sword. This was taken out in the Genesis/Mega Drive version Sparkster, but made a return in the 2010 Rocket Knight revival.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Marluxia can launch crescents of energy by swinging his scythe.
    • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Vanitas, one of the game's main villains, has a basic two-hit combo that consists of a lunging slash and a somersaulting uppercut with his Keyblade. Towards the end of the game, he starts using the latter attack to shoot a fast-moving, short-ranged crescent beam and, later on, a slow-moving, homing one. Wave Motion Sword example in the same game: In the second phase of his story mode's final boss fight, Ventus gains the ability to fire powerful energy beams from his Keyblade. His opponent, a souped-up Vanitas, can do the same, resulting in a Beam-O-War if the two characters launch their attacks at the same time.
  • Severance: Blade of Darkness had an upgrade that unlocked two attacks for Ianna's sword, your only ranged attacks aside from throwing your weapons (they don't come back, and you can only carry a few) and a bow which never upgrades unlike all your other weapons, and is therefore completely useless except for hitting switches. While obtaining it is optional, you don't stand much chance against the teleporting Big Bad otherwise. (And if you did get it, you'll get an extra level after it, with The Man Behind the Man in a Magitek Powered Armor as final boss.)
  • The Dimension Slash attack (which has the user focus energy into their weapon before unleashing a gigantic, battlefield-rending sword beam) is a staple of Nippon Ichi games, especially in the Disgaea series where it's first appearance was in the first game. Disgaea: Hour of Darkness's strongest sword, the Yoshitsuna, has the range of a gun.
  • In the PC game Little Fighter, Deep does this, while Woody does it with his ARMS.
  • In Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, the True Final Boss fight against Erim in a New Game+ has the Dual Blade gain this ability as its standard attack. Unfortunately, the game doesn't tell you this, and many players were too busy engaging in close combat to notice.
  • In Too Human this effect is used when using a fierce attack with either a two handed sword, one handed sword, or dual wield sword; it manifests as a blue burst of energy flying in a straight line accompanied by the howl of a wolf.
  • The Asura subclass in Dungeon Fighter Online specializes in these.
  • The Swordsman subclass in Dragon Nest has half of its skill tree dedicated to this Trope. For the third job change (not released in NA yet), they can become Lunar Knights/Moonlords to get a move that lets them spam 5 huge Sword Beams from midair. Consequently, Bleach fanboy noobs is often used as a blanket description of Swordsmen, who are vehemently hated by much of the community.
  • In Illusion of Gaia, Will's two alternate forms possess variations of this. The first is used by Freedan, and is called the "Dark Friar". By attacking once and holding down on the attack button, Freedan can charge his sword to fire off what amounts to a cross between this and fire magic. Later in the game, when the player gets to Euro, one of two power-ups available in a side-area allows Freedan to upgrade the Dark Friar, resulting in the player being able to push the attack button again when the Friar is either flying away or hitting an enemy. This results in the attack splitting into four smaller fire-ball beams that then spin away and increases the range of the attack. At the end of the game, meanwhile, Shadow gains the "Firebird" attack, which allows the player to attack at range by simply hitting the attack button and watching phoenix-shaped projectiles fire at the Final Boss.
  • In Turok 2, the Juggernauts' BFS's can do this.
  • Jin Kisaragi and Hakumen have this as a super. One is actually a wave of cold from his sword (Jin), whereas the other is played straight (Hakumen).
  • Augus's blade, Wailing Dark from Asura's Wrath uses this as it's projectile, and can be curved sideways and can utilize multiple sword beams at once by default.
  • The Moonlight Greatsword in Dark Souls unleashes this as its strong attack. Notable in being one of the few exploding sword beams. The Drake sword also unleashes slightly different sword beams, The Iron Golems axe fires... Axe Beams, and the dragon slayer spear shoots electric spear beams. FromSoftware loves this trope.
    • The Moonlight Greatsword returns as the Holy Moonlight Blade in the DLC of Bloodborne, and retains its Sword Beam properties. Also from the DLC is the Squick of this trope being combined with the game's motif: Lady Maria creates what are basically Sword Beams with their blood.
  • Egg Emperor in Sonic Heroes alternates between vertical and horizontal versions as his main attack. The same boss would return in Sonic Generations 3DS, now with diagonal ones added to the mix under certain conditions.
  • Kai Leng in Mass Effect 3. The N7 Slayer Vanguard in multiplayer that comes with ME3: Earth DLC features the Biotic Slash ability, which allows you to fire biotic razorwind from your sword.
  • Shulk's Monado Purge art in Xenoblade. It's more useful for its secondary effect of disabling the target's auras then it is for its damage, though.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles X, Phonton Saber users can learn this as a battle art, Longswords have something like this too though it requires the player to be at a closer range to the enemy
  • The Valis games have this as the power of the Valis Sword.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC introduces the Bloodskal Blade, which fires blood-red Sword Beams at varying angles, depending on the power-attack performed. The beam is also used to open doors in the dungeon where the sword is found.
  • The Plasma Whip in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal gains a similar ability after being leveled up. Yeah, it's technically not a sword beam, but it's close enough.
  • Legend of Legaia
    • In the first game, the Ghost Knight family of enemies have the Windhash technique which does this. Stronger forms have the V-Windhash and Neo-Windhash.
    • In Duel Saga, Lang's final Hyper Art, "Sleeping Dragon", is a massive sword beam. This one is a variant in that the beam is emitted as the sword is thrust in a piercing motion, as opposed to a slashing motion as is typical for this trope.
  • Lo Wang can use the Wing of Crane ability in Shadow Warrior (2013) to imbue his sword with energy and send a horizontal wave slashing out. The Nobitsura Kage you've been after the whole game turns out to be even better at this once it's fully assembled, becoming Sword Beam Spam incarnate.
  • In Dynasty Warriors: Gundam Reborn, many previously melee-focused suits such as the Epyon can send beam saber slashes flying at enemies as their 'charged shot' attack. The best example is probably the Susanowo piloted by Mister Bushido, which has a charged Limit Break consisting of an enormous horizontal beam-slash the width of the screen that flies nearly to the edge of the game's draw distance. It is basically instant death to any Mooks caught in its path and will usually bring enemy aces or Mobile Armors to their knees.
  • In MS Saga: A New Dawn, Tremmie, Rezner and Hal can learn the Sonic Boom boost attack, which enables a mobile suit armed with a sword or a spear to fire off one of these. It inflicts mediocre damage but does not provoke retaliation, allowing a melee-oriented Glass Cannon to strike down an opponent without harm to itself.
    • For Tremmie, Vargas and Hal, there's a high-level version called Sonic Storm that hits all opponents simultaneously; with a sufficiently high-leveled suit, it is usually a One-Hit Polykill against mooks. Some high-level enemies have this move as well.
  • Minotaurs in The King of Dragons, but using halberds instead of swords.
  • In Overwatch, Reinhardt has an ability called Fire Strike which does this, except with a huge hammer.
  • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, Agate uses this as his final S-Craft. Every enemy will be targeted as long as they're within his attack circle range.
  • Excalibur in Warframe gets these as part of his Exalted Blade power.
  • Tomb Raider: Legend's Excalibur shoots out sword beams.
  • Aelf's Dagger and the Eternity sword in Realms of the Haunting. To note, they recharge over time and can't be used as melee weapons.
  • In Guild Wars 2, Mesmers use greatswords as ranged weapons that shoot Frickin' Laser Beams.
  • From Battleborn:
    • Rath has two sword beam attacks. Crossblade has him use his two main swords Axiom and Praxis to fire off an X-shaped projectile by slashing into the air. Catalytic Smash has him use his third sword Precept to unleash a shockwave, extending directly ahead of him.
    • In an obvious Shout-Out to The Legend of Zelda, Galilea's "It's Dangerous to go Alone" augment gives her the ability to unleash a ranged blast of energy with each swing of her Greatsword while her health is full.
    • MX.Ronin minions are capable of sending crossblade attack waves to attack at long range. If an attack wave hits a Battleborn, it will return to the Ronin that sent it. If it hits again on the return, it will deal more damage and inflict slow for a few seconds.
  • Senran Kagura: one of Ikaruga's Limit Breaks is her swinging her katana that then launches a fire bird-shaped sword beam forward.
  • Several of the swords in Terraria have this ability. For most, it is in the form of 'thrown' magical swords generated by swinging it, but the Flying Dragon has a much more traditional crescent-shaped beam attack. The lowest of which is the Ice Sword that can only fire an ice shard every few seconds to the Terra Blade that can fire beams that penetrate multiple enemies until dissipating. Being a sword, each benefits from melee bonuses, giving melee players a ranged attack of sorts.
  • The Daybreak super for Dawnbreaker Warlocks in Destiny 2 functions like this. The Guardian summons a flaming sword and throws arcs of fire with each swing of the blade.
  • Grand Chase Dimensional Chaser has Sieghart's Infernal Fear (based on Mortal Fear from the PC predecessor). It accelerates his attack speed to maximum and fires purple waves at the speed of light with every regular attack.
  • Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom, the hero Jin can shoot fireballs with his Fire Blade and ice bolts with his Ice Sword if he has the proper upgrades and bracelts.
  • Lost Soul Aside: Performed by Ventas in the 2016 trailer.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate Series
    • Fate/stay night:
      • Excalibur the Sword of Promised Victory, Saber's weapon, can release blasts of destructive power capable of annihilating entire buildings with ease and could wipe out a good chunk of a city if mis-aimed. Due to flawed summoning and Shirou's low prana capacity, Saber cannot use this attack freely. Fate/Zero and Fate/Extella reveal that it's powerful enough to destroy a literal Cthulhu and an alien superweapon powerful enough to defeat gods, and in the latter entry it can also fire smaller beams of lights combined with explosions of wind.
      • Caliburn, a lost Noble Phantasm that once belonged to Saber before she broke it, has a similar if less powerful attack. When Projected by Shirou and wielded together with Saber, the resulting wave killed Berserker seven times.
      • Excalibur Morgan has a similar power, except Paint It Black fully applies. Since Saber Alter is also hooked up to a nigh infinite source of mana, she can spam it and show off just how devastating it really is. In Fate/Grand Order during the Shinjuku chapter, it was strong enough to vaporize the large cloud of fragments from a meteor that would have destroyed the planet.
      • Ea the Sword of Rupture is a god's tool that Gilgamesh acquired. Fully powered its beam can destroy planets, but Gilgamesh refuses to use it against unworthy opponents and against those worthy he only uses a fraction of its power.
      • The attacks of Berserker are so powerful that the wind following the swings of his gigantic sword cuts whatever is standing even a meter away.
      • The Jewelled Sword of Zelretch is one of these in the hands of Tohsaka Rin, which draws in mana from all Rins across parallel universes to unleash waves of mana comparable to a fully-released Excalibur. And spam it.
    • Fate/EXTRA:
      • Gawain's Excalibur Galatine is considered a sister sword to Excalibur, and has a similar beam attack. The difference is that this one is fire-based and at full power it's claimed the beam reaches about 13 kilometers.
      • Altera's Sword of Mars fires multi-colored lasers for several attacks, though the actual "beam" used for the Noble Phantasm Teardrop Photon Ray is more comparable to a Kill Sat in appearance.
    • Fate/Apocrypha
      • Siegfried's Balmung fires a teal-colored wave of energy that carries anti-dragon properties. At its full power, it can match up against Karna's Brahmastra Kundala, a massive fire spear with nuclear weapon capability labelled as an Anti-Country Noble Phantasm.
      • Mordred's Clarent Blood Arthur is similar to Saber's Excalibur, but replace "golden light" with "blood-red lightning". At its full potential, Mordred mused she could destroy a whole mountain with it during the Camelot chapter of Fate/Grand Order.
    • Fate/Grand Order
      • Lancelot's Arondight-Overload, though it differs from the normal sword beams used by fellow Knights of the Round Table. Lancelot stores the energy within Arondight to turn it into an ultra-powerful slash, then releases the energy while he's cutting through the target to deal maximum damage.
      • Miyamoto Musashi's Rikudou Gorin saves the beam attack for her finisher after slicing the shit out of her target with a four-armed summoned Buddha.
      • Okita Souji Alter's Zekken fires a black and gold beam from her katana that's classified as Anti-World because it can even destroy things that are otherwise invincible.
    • And these are just the actual Saber-class Servants who have these. A Drama CD jokes about the overuse of this trope with Sabers by declaring that Sabers must be able to shoot beams. In actuality though, there are about as many Sabers who don't shoot beams as there are that do.
  • The "Grubberfly's Elegy" Charm, the reward for doing Papa Grub's sidequest, from Hollow Knight allows for this It creates a shockwave-shaped blast from the tip of the Kight's sword, and does 50% weapon damage. It can be stacked with "Quick Nail" for Beam Spam. However, it only works at full HP (but this can be cheated with Lifeblood charms, which grant temporary HP).
  • Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King: This classic attack from The Legend of Zelda makes its appearance. However, you only get it very late in the game, and as usual, it only works at full health.
  • In Marco and the Galaxy Dragon, Gargouille can project a giant blade of energy from her sword Coelacanth. She uses this to bisect one of Astaroth’s warships when it interrupts a baseball game.


    Web Original 
  • Fate/Nuovo Guerra features Clarent as an Evil Counterpart to Excalibur from Fate/stay night above. It feeds on the hate and dispair in the surroundings, and will eventually feed on the Grail itself. To a lesser extent, Tizona and Colada, when Dual Wielded, create a short-range version.
  • A common attack in Chaos Fighters, which is called slash waves. In close range, it is possible to slash enemies while launching them simultaneously.
  • Worm: Jack Slash of the Slaughterhouse Nine explicitly has this as his superpower. He can kill an entire crowd of people with one swing of an ordinary knife.
  • Dreamscape: Keela can send out slashes of darkness with a swing of her scythe.
    • Vladmare can send out slashes of blue energy by swinging his sword.

    Western Animation 
  • In Black Star, John Blackstar and his Arch-Enemy, the Overlord can both fire energy bolts from their crystalline swords, the respective Star Sword and Power Sword.
  • Code Lyoko:
    • William gains the power to launch a crescent-shaped energy blast with his BFS once possessed by XANA.
    • Ulrich also uses Sword Beams in episodes "Franz Hopper" and "Nobody in Particular", each time with XANA's help.
  • In The Legend of Zelda animated TV series, Link's sword is really more of a sword-shaped Magic Wand that he points at things in order to shoot Disintegrator Rays. He never attempts to actually swing it at enemies except when parrying or feinting in battle. Likewise, the bows wielded by Zelda are depicted as an Energy Bow with identical powers. One episode has Link foolishly trade his sword for a snazzier-looking blade, and then discovers to his horror that the new sword is useless because it doesn't shoot magic beams; simply using the weapon like a regular sword isn't so much as considered. Presumably, this is because slashing something with a sword is imitable, but shooting a laser out of it isn't.
  • In Thunder Cats and Thunder Cats 2011, the Sword of Omens can shoot an energy bolt for its chosen wielders, by pointing it at the intended target and screaming "Hooo!"
  • Transformers: Prime has the Star Saber, introduced in the episode "Legacy". It's on the higher end of the scale in terms of firepower, causing enough damage to nearly crash a warship.
  • In Winx Club, Oritel's Cool Sword can shoot energy blasts when it's magically charged. Swords used by the guards on Domino can also shoot energy blasts.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Zuko uses something very like this effect a couple of times, using his twin swords as a focus for his firebending powers. Aang has also been known to do something similar with his staff and his airbending skills.
  • In Trollhunters, the Sword of Daylight shoots out a beam of pure daylight after Jim stabs Bular through the chest, turning most of his body to stone in the process.
  • An episode of Dungeons & Dragons had the kids make an uneasy alliance with a mighty skeleton warrior who was cursed by Venger. The skeleton warrior had the ability to shoot energy beams out of his sword, which he used on Venger to good effect.
  • While the Sword of Protection can fire lasers in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (as well as fixing miscellaneous articles of First One technology, shifting shape, turning things into unicorns, and healing people), Adora - who is pretty ripped even when she hasn't transformed into an eight-foot goddess of war - only actually does it on rare occasions, generally preferring to just smack people with the flat of the sword to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. In the final season, she tends to use it a lot, but usually against something non-organic.

    Real Life 
  • The people over at Wicked Lasers had to do work to avoid this trope here. If they hadn't, the product would have been something more like an extra riot baton with a very powerful laser coming out the tip, particularly impressive in that the website all but outright says that their lasers can be used for self defense.
  • By snapping their claws, the pistol shrimp can create vacuum shockwaves to kill other fish from a distance. So powerful is this Claw Beam that it can produce light as the surrounding water is briefly heated to sun-like temperatures. The mantis shrimp creates a similar but shorter-ranged effect from the force of its punches.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Wave Motion Sword



By channeling mantra through his sword Wailing Dark, Augus is able to swing projectiles at his opponent.

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Example of:

Main / SwordBeam

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Main / SwordBeam